Family Heirloom, Collectible War Gun Found 22 Years After Being Stolen

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Delhi Township Police recovered WWII Mauser Broomhandle pistol when a hit from LeadsOnline alerted police that the pistol that was stolen in 1991, had been sold to a business in Covington, Ky.

“We never would have discovered this without the functions of LeadsOnline. Some things in life are worth more than money, like a family heirloom and LeadsOnline.” Detective Adam Cox, Delhi Township Police

Delhi Township Police said they recovered a prized possession and family heirloom after it was stolen more than 20 years ago.

A hit from LeadsOnline alerted police that the Mauser Broomhandle pistol that was stolen from a victim’s home in 1991, along with several other possessions, had been sold to a business in Covington, Ky.

“We never would have discovered this without the functions of LeadsOnline,” Det. Adam Cox said. “Some things in life are worth more than money, like a family heirloom and LeadsOnline.”

The Mauser Broomhandle is a highly collectible pistol that belonged to the victim’s father during World War II. It was made in 1914 and is believed to be used in World War I.

An arrest was made for the theft in 1991, but police say they were unable to locate the stolen weapon.

“The victim literally had tears in his eyes because he was so overwhelmed about getting the pistol back,” said Det. Cox. “He went to over 50 gun shows during the past 20 years hoping he could stumble across it. After this much time, he never thought it would be located.”

In 2006, the Delhi Township Police Department began using LeadsOnline, a nationwide system used to track stolen property that may have been sold across city, county and even state lines. More than 2,700 law enforcement agencies nationwide, including more than 100 in Ohio, use LeadsOnline to instantly search for stolen property that may have been sold at secondhand stores, pawn shops, internet drop off stores, or scrap metal recyclers.

Police said that when the victim went to purchase the recovered pistol, the owner of the business told him the seller returned the money he received when he learned the pistol was stolen. The victim was able to return home with the gun he thought he may never see again.

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Information in this release is in reference to Delhi Township case number 13-12658.


About LeadsOnline:
LeadsOnline ( is the nation’s largest online investigative system used by more than 4,700 law enforcement agencies to recover stolen property and solve crimes. Each day, millions of items are added to the LeadsOnline database by businesses including secondhand stores, scrap metal recyclers, pawn shops, and Internet drop-off stores across all 50 states. Those records are instantly available to law enforcement agencies. The LeadsOnline system serves as an efficient and money-saving resource for detectives because it provides a cross-jurisdictional, instantaneous, and accurate database that stops criminals from escaping detection by selling stolen items in another city. An official eBay partner, LeadsOnline helps prevent illegal transactions on the eBay website by giving law enforcement access to the world’s largest online marketplace through automatic upload of all eBay transactions into the LeadsOnline database. LeadsOnline also includes LeadsOnlabs, a system for tracking those involved in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamines; a Metal Theft Investigation System designed to track copper and other metal thefts; and cross-checks names of pawn customers against the OFAC SDN list of known terrorists and narcotics traffickers. Each year, LeadsOnline is credited with recovering millions of dollars in stolen goods and solving thousands of crimes that are often associated with bigger crimes, such as homicide, identity theft, and arson. Based in Dallas and led by CEO Dave Finley, LeadsOnline works with thousands of agencies throughout the country, including the New York City Police Department, Chicago Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, and the San Francisco Police Department.

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Lindsay Williams

Chief Jim Howarth
Delhi Township Police Department
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